Chicago River Day

Volunteer for Chicago River Day
9 a.m. - 12 noon
May 13, 2023

CLICK HERE to register

Amazing volunteers come together every year since 1992 to give the Chicago and Calumet Rivers a good spring cleaning on Chicago River Day, part of our effort to create a Litter Free Chicago-Calumet river system.  The river system provides critical habitat for all sorts of animals from migratory birds to beavers, mink, turtles and over 75 species of fish. It's health is rebounding but litter remains a stubborn problem. Have fun, get inspired by fellow volunteers, and make a positive impact on the health of the river cleaning the watershed from Lake County to the Calumet.

Register before May 5 to receive a Chicago River Day T-shirt with this year's featured creature, the blue spotted salamander. Advance registration is requested so we can provide the right amount of supplies for each site.

Check out Chicago River Day FAQs here.

Every year Friends features one of the many creatures who call the Chicago-Calumet River system home to help illustrate the importance of caring for this important habitat. This year our featured creature is the blue-spotted salamander because are an indicator species of ecosystem health, meaning they are senstive and will not thrive in the presence of heavy metals, PCB's, and other pollutants. Blue-spotted salamanders are found throughout the Chicago-Calumet River watershed, a promising signal of the ever-increasing quality of habitat. Learn the top 10 neat facts about these cute little critters HERE.

Hear the WBEZ story on last years event here: WBEZ Features Chicago River Day.

Chicago River Day is made free and accessible because of the support of our sponsors. Thank you to our fantastic Chicago River Day 2023 Sponsors that make this event possible!

Interested in helping clean up throughout the year? Check out opportunties on the Litter Free Chicago-Calumet River initiative page here.

Litter is one of the most stubborn environmental problems we face. Working together with amazing friends, members, volunteers, partners like REI, Shedd Aquarium, Waste Management, and Loyola University's Dr. Tim Hoellein, and the visionary steadfast support of the Mars Wrigley Foundation, we can create a Litter Free Chicago-Calumet river system.